The Phoenix Suns were one of the most surprising teams in the NBA last season.
Many expected the Suns to be one of the worst teams in basketball, but they dealt a couple of picks for guard Eric Bledsoe in a three-way deal that sent J.J. Redick from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Los Angeles Clippers in a sign-and-trade, showing they were serious about improving. Although Bledsoe fought through injuries, the Suns, led by Bledsoe’s back court mate, Goran Dragic, posted a record of 48-34. Unfortunately, playing in the Western Conference did the Suns no favors and they missed out on the postseason because the conference is so loaded. They clearly would have been a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
Now, the Suns begin their quest to improve in the offseason. It started on Thursday night when they took former North Carolina State Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren with the 14th-overall selection, former Syracuse Orange point guard Tyler Ennis with the 18th-overall selection and Serbian swingman Bogdan Bogdanović with the 27th-overall selection.
The Suns have to key free agents – Bledsoe and swingman P.J. Tucker. On Friday, the Suns issued a qualifying offer to both making them restricted free agents.
The Suns have made qualifying offers to now-restricted free agents P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe. News release: pic.twitter.com/2ZlmGLwMGY
— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) June 27, 2014
Bledsoe played in 43 games for the Suns last season, averaging 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.7% from the field, 35.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line. Tucker averaged 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 43.1% from the field, 38.7% from beyond the arc and 77.6% from the free throw line.